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Demas: Post mortem of Carnival next week
National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Allison Demas says a post mortem of Carnival 2014 will begin next week, and promised that a plan to reduce congestion will be complete by June or July. “The good thing about this Carnival was that we were able to gather GPS data, and transport engineers were on the ground Tuesday,” Demas said in an interview yesterday. “They compiled data, so by June or July, we will have a solution for the congestion that plagues the Parade of the Bands for Carnival Monday and Tuesday.”
She admitted that the Socadrome initiative presented by a few of the bigger bands, which saw an alternative stage constructed at the Jean Pierre Complex, had a positive effect on congestion. “It partially had an effect. A lot of the big bands were able to cross the Savannah stage by one o’clock. But there was also an effect on the small and medium bands who got caught on Charlotte Street for about four hours. The big bands were okay, but we have to be concerned about the small and medium bands,” said Demas.
Demas did not describe the Socadrome as a success. “The Socadrome was an experiment to see if we could reduce the congestion on the road. Even so the Socadrome had other effects. I wouldn’t say it was a success.” She also commented on the lack of activity at the Downtown Carnival Committee’s judging points. “We need to determine the reason why there was a lack of spectators and participation by bands downtown.”
She said the NCC wanted to rejuvenate mas downtown and also needed to look at mas coming through the Savannah as there had been a drop in the number of spectators there. “Most of the spectators were on the drag and contributed to the congestion on the Savannah stage. Maybe we have to look at building bleachers,” Demas said.
She said the NCC started a Carnival industry development project which will include meeting with various sectors among Carnival stakeholders and getting input on policy decisions and changes for Carnival. That process is being led by economist Dr Vanus James. “There is clearly a need for a policy to develop Carnival as an industry. We have got to stop seeing it as an event or as a festival, and look at it as a year-round viable and sustainable industry.”
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